For more than a decade, Baylor College of Medicine students have carried on the memory of Matthew Carter, a first-year Baylor medical student who was killed in September 2000. They do this by honoring his commitment to compassion and caring through the annual Matthew Carter Lecture and Service Day. The event combines a lecture featuring individuals in the healthcare field who dedicate their careers to helping the less fortunate of the world and a day of community service at Houston organizations.
This year, students volunteered at eight nonprofits in Houston – providing services ranging from refurbishing a playground for inner city children to organizing medical supplies that will be sent to developing countries.
Despite not knowing Matthew Carter firsthand, today’s medical students are proud to be able to continue his legacy while contributing to the community.
“Matthew Carter was a student in the class of `04, and he was really active in service. Unfortunately, his time was cut short, but we can continue in the community by contributing at Matthew Carter Service Day,” said second-year medical student Rachel Kaplan, who served as coordinator for this year’s service day. “Community service also really helps us remember why we’re going into medicine … because we want to help our community.”
Watch a video about the 2016 Matthew Carter Service Day:
Organizations where Baylor students volunteered for the 2016 Matthew Carter Service Day, and their site coordinators, all second-year medical students, were:
- Bo’s Place, a bereavement center offering grief support to children who have lost a family member. Students assembled furniture and made signs. Site coordinator: Colette Kendrick
- The Children’s Assessment Center, dedicated to providing resources and treatment for child abuse victims and their families. Students helped remodel the center’s playroom. Site coordinator: Adam Garibay
- Angela House, a transitional, residential facility for women upon their release from incarceration. Students performed general volunteer work and interacted with residents. Site coordinator: Preeti Prakash
- Houston Food Bank, the city’s largest food donation foundation. Students sorted donations in an assembly line. Site coordinator: Beverly Steele
- Hermann Park Conservancy, dedicated to the maintenance, improvement and restoration at Hermann Park. Students worked in the tall grass prairie ecosystem. Site coordinator: Jackson Bennett
- Small Steps Nurturing Center, a preschool that provides early childhood education to economically at-risk inner city children. Students renovated the center’s playground. Site coordinator: Nathan Spezia-Linder
- Project C.U.R.E., the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries. Students sorted and packed supplies and built laryngoscopes. Site coordinator: Rachel Kaplan
- Doc Days, a back-to-school bash focused on how to lead a healthy lifestyle organized by Doctors for Change, the Houston Public Library and the Star of Hope. Students helped children with arts and crafts, physical activities and demonstrated basic physician skills with a stethoscope and reflex hammer. Site coordinator: Suchi Agrawal